Studying Physics means learning about the fundamental laws of nature that determine how everything in the entire universe works. From supermassive black holes, to subatomic virtual particles that pop in and out of existence, to a sleepy sloth hanging off a vine in the jungle – absolutely everything is made of matter, stores and transfers energy and interacts through forces.
If you have an enquiring mind, and enjoy asking why things happen, then Physics will help you find the answers. Physics forms the basis of all modern technology and holds the future to global wellbeing.
COURSE CONTENT (AS level):
Mechanics (motion, forces, energy and power), materials (fluids, viscosity and material properties), waves and the nature of light (including quantum physics), electricity
COURSE CONTENT (A-level):
The AS topics, plus: thermal physics, electric and magnetic fields,; circular motion, gravity and orbits, nuclear physics, astrophysics and cosmology, particle physics
ASSESSMENT (AS level):
Two written papers, both taken at the end of the 1-year course.
Both will last 1hr 30mins, each assesses half of the course content. Both papers will include questions on practical and experimental techniques.
Three written exam papers, all taken at the end of the 2-year course.
Papers 1 & 2 will last 1hr 45mins and each only assesses half of the course content.
Paper 3 will last 2hr 30mins, will contain questions drawn from the entire course, and will have a particular focus on practical and experimental techniques.
PRACTICAL ENDORSEMENT IN PHYSICS
You will engage in hands-on practical work and investigative/ experimental projects throughout the 2 year course. The exams assess your understanding of the practical and experimental techniques taught. Your ability to actually carry out experiments is assessed in a separate qualification called the Practical Endorsement. This is assessed by your teacher based on your performance during practical tasks throughout the course, and also based on the work recorded in your lab book over the two years. The practical endorsement is reported on your final A-level certificate alongside your A-level grade, as either “Pass” or “Not reported”.
- A-level Physics is highly valued by employers and Higher Education providers as it demonstrates an ability to understand, analyse and manipulate complex quantitative information and numerical data. The skills and knowledge acquired during A-level Physics is immediately applicable to further study or employment in:
- Scientific research and technical work
- Medicine and healthcare (A-level Physics can be highly beneficial for medical applications)
- Engineering (mechanical, structural, electronic, communications, acoustic … all forms!)
- Established and emerging technologies
- Computing, ICT and web-based enterprise • computer programming and design
- Design, construction and architecture
- Geology, climate science, meteorology
- Finance, accountancy, logistics, economics and business
- Journalism, broadcasting, media, education
- Law (especially technical law)
GCSE GRADE PROFILE
- You will have achieved A*-C grades in a range of subjects at GCSE, including English.
- You will have achieved at least a grade B in GCSE Physics, OR at least BB in GCSE Core Science and GCSE Additional Science.
- In addition, you will have achieved at least a grade B in GCSE Mathematics – numerical and mathematical skills are extremely important in A-level Physics.